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Shift Supervisors and their officers


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  • Shift Supervisors and their officers

    I am a patrol officer and I have worked with both great and ok supervisors. I have also worked with shift supervisors that have had small things happen in front of them and they would call an officer to come and handle it. I worked with a shift supervisor that told dispatch to pull one of the officers off of a call so the officer could handle an alarm call rather than going himself. The officer had to go to the alarm and them come back to the previous call. I have also worked with a shift Lt. that would go out and take reports for us when we were all tied up on something and that was very appreciated. It has been my experience that more shift supervisors feel that they no longer have to do police work anymore. One former Lt. told a Sgt. I know that she should not be taking an accident report even though the accident happened in front of her. The Lt said that that was an officers job. I know that they cannot get tied up on an arrest but what about taking a report once in a while when needed. How do you guys feel about this and let me hear from the supervisors out there. Am I looking at this all wrong?

  • #2
    In my area, and from personal knowledge, the shift supervisors in the city police department will jump right in and help. Often being the first car on location of a call.

    Can't say the same for the local county police though. I think you're right about them.


    • #3
      Our Lt's will take calls just like anyone else if all of us are busy...they roll as back up on hot calls, work traffic, etc...I have a ton of respect for them. They treat all of us very fair and do whatever it takes to help us out. The only time you hear anything that is borderline negative is if you have delinquent reports..I never do!


      • #4
        Are supervisor do that samething as us, they run traffic and go to calls and even write the reports for them.

        Friday nights are chief is usally out running traffic and answering calls as well, he loves the road.
        John D. MacDonald, "The early bird who catches the worm works for someone who comes in late and owns the worm farm."


        • #5
          There are alot of variables presented in this issue, but I can share some opinion as a command staff member.

          To me, all who wear the uniform have the same responsibilities toward the public. The troops love it when their brass gets their hands dirty, and seem to respond well to a leader who will actually do the same job they do. If I do a traffic stop (as I often do) and uncover a crime or make a traffic arrest, I do the paper and ask a marked car to transport for me to the station, where I grab a marked unit with a cage and take the person to Jail. This assists me in a mighty way because procedures change at the jail, I get to catch up with old friends who work there, see new sights, and can actually observe the benefits of all the boring regional jail expansion committee meetings I had attended. I just hope and pray that the person so arrested doesn't have a medical condition or something that will tie me up forever

          Unfortunately some of my peers don't quite get that philosophy. It is drilled into the heads of Command Staff not to get involved with the day-to-day, as they aren't paid to do that, they are paid for the role of supervision and accountability. For some of us, that is the hardest thing about being promoted, we lose the opportunity to seize the adrenaline and be on the front lines, not to mention we don't want the troops to think we are lazy.

          There is a danger of command staff and supervisors doing too much work that the Officers do. There must be a separation in ranks based on roles and responsibilities. When these lines blur, it sets the people involved up to fail. Sure a Lieutenant can do the work of an Officer, but should an Officer do the work of a Lieutenant? I suppose they could, but who do you think would be held accountable if a mistake were made? And I for one already have to own up for mistakes I make myself, and the mistakes of all the people under my command. I don't need the hassle of the added issues that would arise from role reversal by people who don't have the accountability due to their rank to fall back on, because the person that would be held accountable would be the head of the agency. There is also the question of who would address a citizen complaint if levied against a command staff member.

          For many years, I had always wanted to attend an advanced course on Crime Scene processing, because I suck at pulling prints, and I wanted to learn more about all the cool new technology out there. (no, I don't watch CSI) So, I put in for the course. During a weekly meeting, my boss tells me that this is so far beyond the scope of what my job duties were, and he flatly denied my request. We "discussed" for about 15 minutes, and I shared that my intent was to learn more about crime scene processing overall, so I could share the benefits learned with the newer people. He didn't buy it, and actually blistered at my protests. After a few months, I have to say I agree with the boss, he was right. To satisfy my curiousity I snagged a guy who runs a Forensics unit at a neighboring agency and obtained the basics from him along with personalized lessons and reading material as an alternative, and the money saved on me not going to that school was better spent on a newly promoted Detective.

          The more I think about this post, the more I believe it isn't a problem with the brass not helping out on the road. The problem seems to be the perception of leadership being shiftless and lazy. The other issue is the tone set by the overall leader of the agency, and what they perceive their people should be doing or not doing. I personally like to be in the middle, keep the boss happy, and do enough to keep me happy, and do enough to keep the troops entertained.

          I always carry dollar bills in my uniform shirt top pocket. These are good for when I have to ask a subordinate to do something that I should do, but can't for whatever reason. Example; I am on my way to a meeting, and some dolt blows through a stop sign in front of me. I stop the guy to chew his tail, and a casual teletype check reveals he has warrants for his arrest. I call a patrol unit over, explain the situation, write the PC ticket, turn the stop over to them. They are trained to hold out their hand at this point, and out comes the dollar bill, because I have just now officially "passed the buck".
          -I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol...


          • #6
            Thanks dafuzz for the detailed response. You sound like a very good supervisor and I am sure that your troops would agree.


            • #7
              dafuzz said it best. I have worked in two departments and they were the exact opposite. One department you would NEVER see a Sgt. or above doing any type of work with the exception of the OCCASSIONAL back-up. The other department Sgt.'s will come out and do anything. dafuzz has the right philosophy. I would guess you are well liked, and more importantly, well respected.
              In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

              In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

              Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

              I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.

              The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.


              • #8
                I've been a shift supervisor for 21 of my 26 years and all calls are given to me, unless I'm busy handling a call, and I handle it or assign one of my officers. There are only 2
                above me in our dept, Chief and Deputy Chief, on " hot " calls they're both in the thick of things. We're a small dept of 19 sworn officers and 6 civilian employees. We all work as a team. I can't speak for larger depts, but that's how we do it here.

                Sgt.Ray Sollars, #702
                Paris PD
                Paris, IL


                • #9
                  dafuzz gets it. As mentioned, his people probably think he's a good guy.
                  While I understand the line of separation, another problem that ensues is when it comes to policies, which is happening to us right now (due to accreditation).

                  Policies are written by people onthe administrative side, without getting input from persons (as an example) on the uniform side to see where the policies are ridiculous or can have steps streamlined. This happens because the policymaker has little time n the street and the higherups havent been in a patrol function in over 15 years. Times and procedures certainly change and nobody realizes the small things that come up when it comes to new policies as a result.

                  Being in touch on the street is never a bad thing. As for LTs and Sgts, we have a mix of both workers and buck passers. I dont care what your rank is, I just want people to realize that street level patrol is really where the dept. functions and I want people who havent forgotten about that.
                  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”- Romans 8:28


                  • #10
                    If I caught it, I cleaned it. Exception would be an extensive investigation that I'd have to turn over to one of the troops as the brass didn't want their only shift supervisor tied up for that long. We had huge patrol areas in the County.
                    Three Stripes beats Four Aces.
                    Retirement: You've Won the War when you're Paid to Stay at Home.


                    • #11
                      We have 3 Sergeants per shift and 1 Lt.

                      Lt. does routine stuff. Monitor's call logs, checks the reports, answers the phone.

                      1 Sgt is patrol sergeant. They go out on patrol with us and help out when necessary.

                      2 other Sgt's, one does payroll stuff & other does scheduling.

                      Only times our Lt is out on patrol is if we are too busy with work, otherwise he's pencil pusher.


                      • #12
                        I'm fortunate enough to work in a department where my supervisors wouldn't ask me to do anything they wouldn't do themselves. Hell, sometimes the chief will go handle a report from time to time.
                        -Stay safe


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AMKL68

                          2 other Sgt's, one does payroll stuff & other does scheduling.

                          That's pretty sad. In all honesty, civilian personnel could perform
                          these functions at half the pay. It's not rocket science.


                          • #14
                            Once when I was working in a unit that did not normally work traffic accidents I came upon an accident at a busy intersection.

                            I got on the radio and whined "Is a district unit en route to this"

                            When the unit showed up who was going to work the accident, he walked up to me and said "Is your badge broke?"

                            That was very mean of him to say that to me


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SHERIFF
                              That's pretty sad. In all honesty, civilian personnel could perform
                              these functions at half the pay. It's not rocket science.
                              It is for these two. Plus, someone is always ****ed off at them for some reason so


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